One of the best parts about braising spiced chicken in beer? The smell. The flavor's on point, too. —INGRAIN, Spring 2019
This simple dish of beer-braised chicken thighs heads off the ordinary path with a bold Spice Blend of juniper berries and fennel from NYC spice master Lior Lev Sercarz. You can cook the chicken right away, but the flavors really pop if you let the chicken marinate overnight. For a double hit of juniper, serve the chicken with an artisanal gin or balance out the flavors with a Goose IPA.
3 to 3½ pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (6 to 8) Spice Blend (ingredients below) Kosher salt Olive oil 1 medium onion 2 celery stalks 1 small cabbage ½ cup whole dried apricots 1 tablespoon honey 1 cup (8 ounces) light ale (312 Urban Wheat Ale or similar)
2½ teaspoons coriander seeds
2½ teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
¾ teaspoon juniper berries
3 to 3½ pounds bone-in chicken thighs (6 to 8) on all sides with the Spice Blend. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Season the chicken with kosher salt, to taste.
Enough olive oil into a large, deep sauté pan to lightly coat the surface, and warm pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, cook chicken in a single layer, skin side down, until skin is a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (Do this in batches if needed and be patient.)
Chicken with a spatula (carefully lift up the skin from the bottom of the skillet). Cook until the opposite side is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and pour out all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.
1 medium onion (cut in half and thinly sliced) + 2 celery stalks (diced) + ¼ small cabbage (thinly sliced) + ½ cup whole dried apricots to the pan. Stir to coat the ingredients with the fat and continue to cook, scraping up any browned bits from the pan, for another minute.
1 tablespoon honey + 1 cup light ale (312 Urban Wheat Ale) into the pan. Bring liquid to a vigorous simmer, and cook until beer is reduced by half and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Heat to low, add ½ cup water, and return chicken and any juices to the pan. Bring liquid to a vigorous simmer and cook (uncovered) until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Season chicken with salt to taste and let rest a few minutes before serving.*
*Recipe adapted from Mastering Spice (Fall 2019) by Lior Lev Sercarz.
Get the full spice lowdown in our interview with Lior Lev Sercarz.